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HMRC internal manual

Customs Special Procedures Manual

Aircraft and their parts: definition of a civil aircraft

A ‘civil’ aircraft is one which carries a civil registration (UK, EU or Third Country) although for certain types (for example, gliders) this is not obligatory.

In some Member States, aircraft used by the Police, Customs or Coastguard may carry a military or non-civil registration rather than a civil registration and are therefore excluded from the relief applied to civil aircraft.